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As fall's brisk winds approach, Kim Hughes, a Toronto-based single and dating expert for Lavalife, shares tips on creating an enticing online dating profile to find a companion to keep you warm.

1. Add more photos or video. We may not like to admit that looks matter but they do: Research shows profiles with pictures get eight times the response of those without. Use pictures to help tell the story of you.

2. Be specific. Describe your ideal Sunday morning or best-ever vacation - concrete scene-setters that capture your likes and provide an icebreaker for those wanting to contact you.

Story continues below advertisement

3. Use a trusted friend as an editor. It's hard to write about yourself but a pal can make constructive suggestions about where to add detail (your humour, compassion, killer stroganoff recipe) and where to back off (carping about exes, presenting a rigid grocery list of must-haves).

4. Use spell check. You may not think a misspelled word is a big deal but it broadcasts an overall lack of care. Sloppy is never sexy.

5. Stay positive and open-minded. This is hardest but most important. Dating is tough but like everything else, it benefits enormously when approached with humour. Know your absolute deal breakers (religion, location, kids) but be flexible on the rest. No one ever got divorced because their wife was blond and not brunette. Even dates that don't set your heart racing could lead to a new contact that plays tennis with the One.

As told to Zosia Bielski

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